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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

A Hodgepodge of Questions

First, as a reminder, the only column next week will be on Wednesday, due to me judging at Grand Prix: Los Angeles.

Second, a couple of answered questions without the questions, which you can use as guidelines for similar type questions:

-You can let Standstill’s triggered ability resolve, and use the cards from Standstill to counter the spell that triggered it.

-Enchant Creature cards are enchantments, and can be destroyed by cards that destroy enchantments.


Q: Can I use the above spells to change the chosen colour of a spell when the colour isn't explicitly defined in the text (such as Washout or Teferi's Moat). The Oracle description says it must change the text on a card, but the card details for Sleight of Mind says it can target a card with no colour words on it.

Is a card that 'chooses' its colour immune to these kinds of effects?

-Neil R.

A: Sleight of Mind
Change the text of target spell or permanent by replacing all instances of one color word with another. #(For example, you may change "target black spell" to "target blue spell.") (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)#

The color word has to be physically on the card to change. If the color isn’t printed on the card, then you can’t change it.

As to your second question, let’s use Shifting Sky as an example …

Shifting Sky
As Shifting Sky comes into play, choose a color.
All nonland permanents are the chosen color.

Since the color word isn’t physically on Shifting Sky, you won’t be able to change the color choice with Sleight of Mind.


Q: Let’s say I have a Lightning Rift and an Astral Slide in play; I then cycle a card. Can I remove a creature from the game with Astral Slide, and pay 1 for the Lightning Rift to do 2 damage, or do I need to cycle 2 cards to do both. Thank you.


A: One card cycled will trigger both abilities. So you only need to cycle one card to remove a creature and do 2 damage with both Astral Slide and Lightning Rift out.


Q: If there is Spreading Plague in play, and I simultaneously bring back 5 white creatures from my graveyard, would they all die or what? (say with Replenish [using Opalescence])


A: Yes, they would all die.


Q: How do you determine a land's type, and, as an extension, are Snow-covered lands a different type than plain basic lands?

In other words, with one of each land and one of each snow-covered land out, will a Tribal Flames net me 10 damage?


A: You can never do more than 5 damage with a Tribal Flames, as there are only 5 basic land types. Snow-Covered lands are of the same type as the non-Snow-Covered land would be.

214.9d The basic land types are plains, island, swamp, mountain, and forest. A land with one of these words as its name is a basic land. Other lands can state that they are lands of one or more basic land types. A land that has one or more basic land types is not necessarily a basic land. Moreover, the name of a land with a single land type that's basic becomes that basic land-type word.

502.14b Five snow-covered lands were printed in the Ice Age™ expansion. Their names are Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Island, Snow-Covered Swamp, Snow-Covered Mountain, and Snow-Covered Forest. These lands are basic lands, even though they have a different name and they have the snow-covered ability.


Q: If I put an entangler on a Commander Eesha, could I block twenty 10/10s and kill them all?


A: Entangler
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature may block any number of creatures.

Even though an Eesha with an Entangler on it will be able to block any number of creatures, she still does only 2 damage. So you couldn’t kill one 10/10, much less twenty.


Q: My question is concerning Cumulative Upkeep. My friends and I aren't sure how it works. Let's use Prismatic Circle for an example, it has a cumulative upkeep cost of 1, so does that mean I would pay 1 each turn? Or does it double each turn, so the next turn I'd have to pay 2, then 3, then 4, etc.?


A: At the beginning of your upkeep, you put a counter called an “Age Counter” on any permanent with Cumulative Upkeep. Then, you pay the Cumulative upkeep cost printed on the card times the number of Age Counters on the card, or you sacrifice that permanent. (For math buffs, the series of Cumulative Upkeep payments is an arithmetic series.)

Let’s take an example, using the card you mentioned.

Prismatic Circle
Cumulative upkeep {1}
As Prismatic Circle comes into play, choose a color.
{1}: The next time a source of your choice of the chosen color would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage.

Let’s call the turn you cast Prismatic Circle “turn 1” for reference purposes. So on the beginning of “turn 2”’s upkeep, you put an Age Counter on Prismatic Circle. Then, since there is one Age Counter on Prismatic Circle, you pay 1 Age Counter * 1 Cumulative Upkeep Cost = 1 mana, or you sacrifice Prismatic Circle.

On the beginning of “turn 3”’s upkeep, you again put an Age Counter on Prismatic Circle. Then, since there are two Age Counters on Prismatic Circle, you pay 2 Age Counters * 1 Cumulative Upkeep Cost = 2 mana, or you sacrifice Prismatic Circle.

On the beginning of “turn 4”’s upkeep, you again put an Age Counter on Prismatic Circle. Then, since there are three Age Counters on Prismatic Circle, you pay 3 Age Counters * 1 Cumulative Upkeep Cost = 3 mana, or you sacrifice Prismatic Circle.

You should be able to take it from there.


Q: I have an Astral Slide out and a Pardic Arsonist in play, and I have threshold. My opponent declares that it is my turn and I declare, "at the end of your turn... cycle {this} and activate Astral Slide's ability targeting my Arsonist." Would the Arsonist leave play, and return again during my opponent's same end of turn step, dealing 3 damage again to target creature?

A: No. Since the End step has already started, you’ll have to wait for the next End step (typically on your turn) for the Arsonist to come back. Once an End step starts, anything that would do something “at end of turn” waits until the next End step.

(Hint: Cycle the card in his second main phase if you want it back that turn. Yes, he will be able to play creatures and sorceries before it comes back, but that’s the best you can do.)


Q: Could I then respond to its come into play ability, putting it on the stack, and cycle another card again triggering Astral Slide's ability on the Arsonist again on the same end of turn step? In other words, could I "Arsonist" multiple times on the same turn, depending on the number of cyclers and amount of available mana to avoid having the 3 damage "removed" as a result of the switching of turns?

-Alex W.

A: No to both questions. The most damage you could do in one turn using one Pardic Arsonist and one Astral Slide is 3 damage.


Q: Can Meddle target a Cruel Revival? I don't think so since it has two targets (creature and card), but my friends think it can because it targets only one creature or player.

-Jason S.

A: If the Revival targets a zombie in the graveyard, no, because it has two targets. If it only targets a creature to kill, however, then yes, you can Meddle it.


Tournament Report - FNM – Orange, CA – 3rd place

I got tired of playing U/G, and decided to switch decks. I had Nassif’s BUG Braids deck available, and I also put together Zev Gurwitz’s new Tog deck. I went to my mailbox coming home from work Friday, and my Oppositions hadn’t arrived yet. So I played Tog.

Zevatog, V2.0
By Zev Gurwitz

4 Shadowmage Infiltrator
3 Merfolk Looter
3 Psychatog
4 Counterspell
4 Circular Logic
4 Standstill
4 Aether Burst
4 Smother
3 Cunning Wish
2 Upheaval
4 Underground River
4 Polluted Delta
4 Lonely Sandbar
2 Barren Moor
2 Swamps
8 Islands
1 Darkwater Catacombs

2 Ghastly Demise
4 Engineered Plague
2 Hibernation
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Divert
1 Read the Runes
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Coffin Purge
1 Mana Short
1 Psychotic Haze

I changed the 4 Duresses that were originally in the board out for other cards.

Let’s just get straight to the action.

Round 1 – Daniel Jacoby – Mono-Red Goblins

Ack. No first round bye for me this week. This is one of the better players there. Too bad one of us has to take a loss in the first round.

Game 1 – He wins the roll, 17-6, and plays first. He gets in an attack for 4 early, but I drop an early Infiltrator, then a Tog as a blocker. He goes for the dome with a couple of Firebolts and a Volcanic Hammer, but is stuck at 3 mana, and my Tog comes over to kill him from 14. The last turn, he broke a Standstill, and I cycled 5 lands before untapping. Yeah, that’s fair.

Sideboard: In – 4 Engineered Plague (which really makes this matchup unfair). Out – 2 Merfolk Looter, 1 Standstill, 1 Upheaval.

Game 2 – He goes first. He drops Goblins on each of the first 4 turns, including a Piledriver. I counter the Raider on his turn 3, so the Piledriver won’t get any bonuses, and drop a turn 3 Plague. He drops a Lavamancer, and I Smother it. 2 Finkels get me to a Tog, and a Diverted flashbacked Firebolt removes the Piledriver for the kill.

Games: 2-0, Matches: 1-0

Round 2 – Chris Lim – U/G Squirrels/Elves

Game 1 – I win the roll, 18-4, and play first. I get absolutely no pressure early, and he just comes over very slowly and kills me.

Sideboard: In – 4 Engineered Plague. Out – I don’t remember, as I didn’t write it down. I barely remember siding in the Plagues, I think.

Game 2 – I play. We each take a mulligan. The tables are turned here, as my Finkels come over for massive card advantage, and Tog goes to the dome at 12.

Game 3 – This one looks a little closer, but I locked most everything out with a Plague on Squirrels and Elves. He drops a Squirrel Mob. It gets killed, and Tog goes in for the kill at 16.

Games: 4-1, Matches: 2-0

Round 3 – David Ly – U/G Opposition

As he sits down, he comments on how I misspelled his name in the report from the last time we played (I spelled it Lau then).

Game 1 – He wins the second roll, 10-9, after we tie at 11, and he plays. He also takes a mulligan. I tap out for turn 3 Finkel, and he drops turn 3 Opposition, with 2 or 3 creatures already out. I scoop.

Sideboard: Nothing. Maybe this is what the Duresses were for?

Game 2 – I go first. He gets in some early attacks, but I am able to stabilize. I then drop Standstill with no creatures out. I make the boneheaded play of the tournament, and cast a Looter the next turn. No, he didn’t cast any cards in between – I broke my own Standstill. That takes what little chance I had of winning and throws it straight out the window.

Games: 4-3, Matches: 2-1

Not like I either had much of a chance to win that, or even deserved to win it with my play.

Round 4 – Alex Diaz – W/G

Game 1 – He wins the roll, 10-9, and plays first. I get my 2 Finkels down, but he gets 2 Nomad Mythmakers out, and plays Mythic Proportions. I block the first attack with a Tog, and don’t pump it. I have to get him to assign his damage, so I can see if I can save my Tog. He maxes out on the damage to me, and only assigns 2 to the Tog, so I pump the Tog after damage is on the stack. I then Smother and bounce the next couple of attacks, and send in 3 Togs while he only has 1 untapped creature at 12.

Sideboard: Nothing.

Game 2 – This one is a little easier for me. All his creatures have 1 toughness this game, so I wish for and play a Psychotic Haze, and come in with a Tog while he is at 14.

Games: 6-3, Matches: 3-1

Round 5 – Joshua Durick – R/G madness

Game 1 – I win the roll, 12-8, and play. He comes out fast with an Angry Mongrel. I hit him back a couple of times with an unpumped Tog. We then play “pump the creature,” discarding a bunch of cards to try to kill each other’s creature. I win that battle.

I drop a total of 3 Standstills during this game, and he immediately breaks them all.

I take 5 from a Browbeat going down to 5, but I wish for Read the Runes, untap and play it, leaving 1 blue mana open for a Logic, and sacing a bunch of lands. Tog goes in for the kill.

Sideboard: Nothing.

Game 2 – He plays first. This one is a bit closer, but he only draws 3 lands, and only is able to play a Walla and Safekeeper. I eventually block the Safekeeper, bounce or kill the Walla, and Wish to Read to end the tournament at 4-1.

Games: 8-3, Matches: 4-1

An interesting side note that mirrors Zev’s tournament report:

Number of Upheavals cast by me during the tournament: 0.

I might drop 1 Upheaval for a 4th Looter then next time I play this deck. You have to keep 1 in though, for random Bridge decks.

See you Thursday.

Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge





Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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